We got the dreaded "Your not allowed" letter, should I fight it?

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by rjswayne, Oct 8, 2008.

  1. rjswayne

    rjswayne In the Brooder

    Mar 31, 2008
    Okanogan, Wa
    Here's the scoop,

    We've had our girls for 7 months now, and not one person has every complained about them. Last month my next door neighbor moved out and while the landlord was cleaning the unit they saw my chickens.

    So last week the letter arrived telling me that my chickens put me in violation of my lease and with San Diego Zoning Regulations.

    I am so sad and angry I'm not sure what to do. We are planning on moving out of state soon so we really need a good reference from these pickle brains, but at the same time I want to go in and scream at them.

    I've put the girls up to be rehomed https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=95207, but I really don't want to.

    The wording of the laws here in San Diego are so vague. I can have up to 25 Fowl and/or Rabbits if they are kept 50 feet away from a residence. They then go on to define Fowl as birds kept for meat or eggs. Which ours are kept as pets.

    The funny thing is that the landlord allows rabbits! Screwy huh! Since we keep them as pets I am thinking this law doesn't even apply to us. When I called Code Enforcement they said yes it applies to all chickens and rabbits, no matter if you have 1 or 25. I know several tenants who have rabbits, and they are not housed 50 feet away from the next unit.
    Is this animal discrimination or what!

    So do I fight for the good of all chicken kind or do I cowtoe to these people?
  2. I'd say that you use them for their fresh eggs.
  3. kinnip

    kinnip Songster

    Feb 24, 2008
    Carrollton, GA
    If you've got the gumption, fight it! I'm sick and tired of hearing about folks having their pets taken away because of some sour, rules-obsessed jerk. It would do those folks some good to eat a little crow.
  4. lorieMN

    lorieMN Songster

    Apr 19, 2008
    ok..one,if you have hens you will have eggs,I havent ever heard of a way to stop them from laying eggs,so tell them they are for eggs..and two,why do people like yourself keep getting chickens in the city limits if you know they are not allowed,even if you are moving soon why not wait until you have moved to get them?
  5. rjswayne

    rjswayne In the Brooder

    Mar 31, 2008
    Okanogan, Wa
    Quote:One, chickens are permitted in the city, they just have stupid setback laws and two, I Personally feel it is within my rights to own what ever kind of pet I want. If my neighbors can: have dogs that bark all night, cats that pee and poo in my garden, ride quads up and down the street, graffiti, shoot off fireworks, keep parrots, etc; then I should be allowed to kept a chicken or two for a pet and some fresh eggs. But thatÂ’s just me, I'm a rebel!
  6. Sugar Sand Farm

    Sugar Sand Farm Songster

    Apr 24, 2007
    North Florida
    rjswayne put that anger to good use fight them. If it says you can have chickens for eggs,what the problem. if its the coop try to move it within code, or build atractor that you can move around. It might work.
  7. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    I agree...Fight it! I can't understand that law! I can see the rooster law but allowing someone in the city to have 3 or 4 chickens shoudl be allowed. Its' just dumb! Good luck!
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    So, it sounds to me like the thing you are in violation of is not the chicken-having per se, it is the setback required FOR chickens, right?

    In which case, um, the letter would be correct, you ARE in violation of the bylaw and presumably your lease as well.

    Whether or not other people are too, doesn't change that.

    Seems to me that by far the smartest thing to do would be to move the chickens so that you are in compliance with the setback requirements, if that is possible on the property (it isn't always).

    I do not know whether this would square you with your landlord - does your lease permit animals? If not, you are basically screwed there and are probably not going to get a good reference no matter what you do (although getting rid of the chickens would produce a less-bad reference than having a big snit about keeping them, I bet)

    If your landlord was ok with the chickens it might well be worth trying to fight the setback issue at city hall... but if the landlord is against the chickens too, the setback thing is really irrelevant anyhow, you know what I mean?

    You may just have to cling to the fact that you are moving soon and will hopefully be able to swing a better situation for yourself and chickens in the new location.

    Good luck,

  9. rjswayne

    rjswayne In the Brooder

    Mar 31, 2008
    Okanogan, Wa

    You are correct, I am in violation of the setback law. In my defense, the setback seems like a normal distance, if you have 25 birds that you intend to eat, However I have only 2 birds that are kept as pets, so why so far away? The fenced portion of my yard is about 30x10, so there is no where to go.

    As far as City Hall goes, they said that they do not care, as long as my neighbors don't complain. I know that sounds loosy-goosy, but this is the City of San Diego, Enron by the Sea.

    As for the landlord, that seems vague to me as well. They allow dogs up to 45lbs, cats, fish, birds, reptiles, and rabbits. (Dogs, cats and rabbits require a deposit, we have one cat and have paid the proper deposit.) From the wording of the letter they seem to be under the impression that chickens are not birds.

    I want to thank you for that dose of reality, I think you may be right, I can't wait to get out of here!! I still plan to rehome the girls, but I think I still might try to stir the pot (cackle, cackle) a little. I'm awaiting a call back from my council woman as we speak!

  10. How soon are you moving? If it is reletively soon...could a friend or family member keep them till you do? Then you can be square with your landlord. and the reference will be good too.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: